Talented Bassist Luther Hughes, Vibe master Charlie Shoemake, Piano talent Joe Bagg, and Drumming great Paul Kreibich will perform a musical tribute to the famed Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ). The Modern Jazz Quartet were one of the great jazz groups that originated in the early 1950’s and played together for over 40 years, recording over 50 albums. The MJQ were four talented musicians led by Pianist John Lewis, Vibe great Milt Jackson, Bassist Percy Heath, and Drummer Connie Kay. The Modern Jazz Quartet performed classical music, cool jazz, blues, and be-bop jazz in a way that gave them a distinctive sound unlike any other group. Each musician had an equal voice and the group sound was elegant, and restrained, using sophisticated counterpoint inspired by baroque music with a strong blues feel. The MJQ was one of the first small jazz combos to perform in concert halls rather than nightclubs; 4 musicians playing 4 instruments in a conservative, horizontal, contrapuntal manner. The Modern Jazz Quartet won the first NAACP award for cultural compositions in the field of music, won top billing on numerous jazz magazine polls, and received honorary doctorates from Berklee college. The MJQ lived in a world of music they created for themselves. Luther Hughes, Charlie Shoemake, Joe Bagg, and Paul Kreibich are four exceptional musicians who have the experience and skill to perform the music of the legendary Modern Jazz Quartet. Each player is a leader of their own groups and have a rich background in the field of jazz; as performers they have all played with many jazz greats, and are all active music educators. Luther Hughes is the bandleader of the Cannonball/Coltrane Project, the Nat King Cole Tribute Group, and the group H.E.R.K.(Hughes, Eschete, Ranier, Kreibich). Luther was a 20 year member of the Gene Harris Quartet, and has a distinguished 30+ year career as an educator and performer, playing with over 100 top musicians in a wide field of music. Luther has appeared on dozens of jazz recordings.
Vibraphone master Charlie Shoemake has a long career as a performer, recording artist, and is one of the most successful jazz improvisation teachers in Southern California. Charlie has helped over 1500 students at his Central Coast Jazz Institute in Cambria, Ca.. Shoemake mastered the styles of the great be-bop musicians of the 1950’s, and toured with the George Shearing Quintet for 7 years. Charlie has led his own group for many years and recorded 20 albums as a leader.
Pianist Joe Bagg is also a master organist, leading his own organ trio. Joe has played with many jazz greats, and is an active teacher, performer, and recording artist.
Drumming standout Paul Kreibich has played with many jazz greats, including touring with Carmen McRae and Ray Charles. Paul has appeared on over 60 recordings, and recently recorded a tribute to jazz drumming great, Elvin Jones. Kreibich is an active performer and educator at Fullerton College.